According to a new book, President Donald Trump knew that Covid-19 was more deadly than the flu before it hit the United States, but he wanted to reduce the crisis.
Bob Woodward, who broke up the Watergate scandal and is one of the most respected journalists in the country, interviewed President Trump 18 times from December to July.
President Trump says he tells Bob Woodward that the virus is “deadly material” before the first death in the United States is confirmed.
In response, Donald Trump said he wanted to avoid causing public panic.
About 190,000 Americans have been reported dying of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
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On September 9, some media outlets published excerpts from interviews between the president and the journalist, revealing his remarks about the outbreak, as well as race and other issues.
Here are some of the key quotes so far from Rage, which will be released on September 15.
President Trump said he knew more about the severity of the disease than he had said publicly.
According to the appeal tape, President Trump told Bob Woodward in February that the coronavirus was more deadly than the flu.
“It goes in the air,” President Trump told the author on February 7.
“It’s always harder than touching. You don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and so it goes.
“So it’s very complicated. This is very delicate. It is also more deadly than the stressful flu. ”
Later that month, President Trump promised that the virus was “very under control” and that the number of cases would soon be close to zero. He also publicly hinted that the flu was more dangerous than Covid-19.
Speaking on Capitol Hill on March 10, President Trump said: “Just be calm. He will leave. “
Nine days later, days after the White House declared the pandemic an emergency, the president told Bob Woodward: “I always wanted to let him go. I still like to play it down because I don’t want to panic. “
Speaking from the White House on September 9, President Trump told reporters: “I do not want people to be afraid, I do not want to create panic, as you say, and I will certainly not anger this country or the world.
“We want to show confidence, we want to show strength.”
President Trump – who is running for re-election in November – said Bob Woodward’s book was a “political hit.”
Asked by reporters about the book, White House spokeswoman Kaylee McEnnany said: “The president has never belittled the virus again. The president expressed calm. The president was serious about this. “
In a tweet, Joe Biden said that “until a deadly disease tore apart our nation, [President Trump] he failed to do his job – on purpose. It was a betrayal of the life or death of the American people. “